I’ve got news for you: Jesus didn’t start in St Jean, Le Puy, or Rome for Santiago, either.
Leaving Sarria towards Santiago.
It’s been a different Camino the last two days, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The minimum distance that one must walk to earn a Compostela in Santiago is 100 km. Sarria is almost 100 km. That means a LOT of people join The Camino in Sarria. It also means that prices have gone up in general, lodging is harder to get, the lines to use restrooms can be outrageous, and locals are constantly trying to sell you things from their front yards.
And look how crowded the path can be sometimes.
Holy smokes! Where did all of these people come from?
You can tell who the new people are because their packs are brand new and clean. They also are excited, happy, celebratory, and taking a lot of photos. This could be annoying for those who have been walking for much longer, especially those of us who started in Saint Jean. The funny thing is that these new people seem fascinated by us broken, gray-haired, dirty/smelly, scraggy elders of the Camino. A number of new people were coming up to me and asking questions and for advice while I was eating yet another bloody bocadillo at a café yesterday. I seriously felt like an old grandma character in a comedy film. That was only two or three hours outside of Sarria. It reminded me of how I felt on my first day: so full of wonder at the whole thing, mixed with excitement and trepidation.
Then there were a number of personal things that happened in the last two days that brought me back to the very beginning of my Camino. The first wonderful reminder of how this all started was running into the incredible Kathleen from Australia. I was so happy to see her yesterday morning I couldn’t stop hugging her and yammering nonstop like a child. I saw her again during my afternoon break with Georgia, and had wonderful dinner with her tonight. It looks like we will both be walking into Santiago on Tuesday, which also happens to be her birthday.
Look at this beautiful courtyard where we got to share a beer with Kat yesterday. She was very lucky that she was staying there for the night.
The second thing that happened was spotting this strange graffiti today. I saw “go Texas go” right away, but as I walked closer to the marker I saw their names:
I could not believe my eyes: reconnecting with Kathleen yesterday, and then seeing this Texas sisters fan club graffiti today.
Third, that Canadian woman who commented on my snoring in Viana happened to walk into the bar in this village tonight. She recognized me and said hello, so I said hello back. As I drank my limon beer (I am really going to miss this limon beer), I quickly debated with myself what to do… if anything. Tell her how much her words cut me and she changed my whole Camino experience? Thank her for compelling me to leave the albergues? Say nothing?
I decided to say nothing. Let it go, release it, be the bigger person.
When Georgia joined me and I told her about the woman, she helped me realize that the Canadian woman saying what she did to me really had nothing to do with me personally. It’s her problem that she felt the need to lash out like that. I made peace with that.
The woman quickly walked by us to leave and didn’t say a word to me anyways. I was relieved and told G so, and that’s when G told me she gave the woman a long, hard stink eye for me. Haha, I love it! Thank you! I think?
The scenery has been beautiful. Yesterday’s walking was much more difficult than today because the last 3+ miles were in the hot exposed sun (today was overcast and rainy, which made my moss-covered Seattle heart sing).
Here are a ton of pictures for your viewing pleasure. The bright blue skies are from yesterday; grey drizzle is from today.
Does anyone know what these are?